What we have here is the new 2013 Kia Forte. It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long since the current-generation Forte was released, but it has been out far longer overseas, so like the first-generation Honda Fit in the USA, our Kia Forte isn’t going to be lasting long. Kia’s readying the new model at a rapid pace. This picture appears from the Hyundai-Kia Proving Ground near California City, California. These photos were captured by the all-seeing lenses of Brenda Priddy and Company.
The new design shows familiar design language to the new Kia Rio sedan, although a little bit of influence from the 2012 Honda Civic can be seen as well. The new Forte, however, appears to have lower ground clearance and a much sportier stance than the stylistically disappointing 9th generation Civic.
It’s speculated that a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine similar to the Chevrolet Cruze Eco will end up under the hood, but it’s far more reasonable to expect the carryover engine from the 2012 Hyundai Elantra to power this ride, which should give it similar fuel economy numbers to the 40-mpg Elantra. Considering the intended competitors, don’t be surprised to see some sort of turbo option – maybe even a 2.0T carryover from either the Kia Optima Turbo or the Hyundai Genesis 2.0T.
The Forte will share a platform with the Hyundai Elantra, but as is par for the course with Kia, expect a sportier suspension tuning for the Forte than the cruiser-tuning of the Elantra, which is geared for comfort and not corner carving. This should make it a more than formidable competitor to the sporty new Ford Focus and whatever Mazda’s going to come up with to replace the Mazda3, whenever they get around to it.
Expect to hear much more information, and see more spy shots, of the 2013 Kia Forte coming up very soon, as this appears very close to being a production ready vehicle. When it comes out in late 2012, it could change the game for Kia just as the 2012 Elantra has changed the game for Hyundai.